NEBRASKA HALL TO INDUCT JENSEN, RAGER, SEVEN OTHERS Lincoln, NE -- April 4, 2005 -- Lonnie Jensen and Roger Rager, who battled each other throughout the 1960s and 1970s on the nations dirt tracks, will be two of the nine 2005 inductees into the...
NEBRASKA HALL TO INDUCT JENSEN, RAGER, SEVEN OTHERS
Lincoln, NE -- April 4, 2005 -- Lonnie Jensen and Roger Rager, who battled each other throughout the 1960s and 1970s on the nations dirt tracks, will be two of the nine 2005 inductees into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the Fireman's Hall in Lincoln, NE, on October 14, 2005. The other members of the 2005 class include: John & Laura Beecham, Lincoln; Stan Cisar Sr., Omaha; Carl Forberg, Omaha; Wayne House, Lincoln; Terry Klatt, Hastings; and Gary Swenson, Lincoln.
Jensen was a Knoxville, IA, track champion in 1972 and 1974, as well as BCRA titlist in 1970 and 1972. He won other track championships at Beatrice, NE, (1970), Eagle Raceway in Eagle, NE, (1972 and 1985) and Midwest Speedway in Lincoln (1981).
Rager was track champ at Knoxville in 1975 and made it to the Indy 500 in 1981. He carved out a stellar career racing in IMCA, USAC, the World of Outlaws and WISSOTA.
The Beechams purchased Eagle Raceway in 1984 and turned it into one of the most successful and respected short tracks in the nation. Laura Beecham becomes the first woman to be inducted in the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame.
Stan Cisar Sr., was a top flagman and official in the Omaha area for many years. Some of the tracks that Cisar worked were, Sunset, Grandview, and Riverside Speedways in Omaha; Denison and Harlan, IA, Playland Park in Council Bluffs, IA; Ord, NE, and the Civic Auditorium in Omaha for indoor races.
Carl Forberg was among the first men to race midgets in the Omaha area in 1935. He quickly found success, and later moved to Detroit, racing midgets with AAA. Forberg raced in the Indy 500 in 1951, but injuries cut his career short shortly thereafter. In the 1960s and 1970s he owned a USAC sprint car driven by Johnny Parsons Jr., Ralph Ligouri and Todd Gibson.
Wayne House as chief mechanic for the R & H Farms team, won the 1973 IMCA championship with driver, Thad Dosher and the 1975 Knoxville Nationals with driver, Ed Leavitt. His House of Horsepower engines also powered Mike Brooks the Knoxville track championship in 1980. In 1981 it was a House of Horsepower engine that put Rager in the Indy 500.
Terry Klatt has been a successful midget owner for many years with drivers, Dean Ward, Dave Strickland Jr., Johnny Heydenrich and Bobby East. He has also developed a strong asphalt USAC sprint and Silver Crown team over the last few years with East driving.
Gary Swenson has enjoyed a career as a car owner that has spanned more than 40 years. His car won the Knoxville Nationals in 1968 and the IMCA sprint title in 1972 with Ray Lee Goodwin driving. Goodwin and Swenson also won the 1971 Knoxville Track championship. In 1994, John Gerloff drove Swenson's car to first place at the Short Track Nationals in Little Rock, AR. Some of the other winning drivers that Swenson has employed include, prior Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees, Cliff Sealock, Lloyd Beckman, Joe Saldana, Don Maxwell and Jan Opperman.
Nominees to the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame must have been a resident of the state for at least two years and must be retired from the discipline they are being honored for four years. Active participants in the sport will be considered if they are 55 years of age and have been with the sport for at least 30 years. All candidates must have made positive contributions to the sport of auto racing on a local, regional and national level. The purpose of the hall of fame is to perpetuate the memory of these individuals who have brought lasting fame to the state of Nebraska through their efforts in auto racing. Anyone wishing to nominate a person to the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame, can do so by submitting the person's name, with a list of their accomplishments to: The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame, Inc., 821 Driftwood Dr., Lincoln NE 68510. Or you can call 402-489-5171, or e-mail your nomination to: firstname.lastname@example.org.